Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
We’re Ready Around the Clock | SERVPRO® of NW Dekalb/Dunwoody/Brookhaven
Damaged Kitchen after a fire showing soot on walls and burnt cabinetry.
If you remember rotary phones in homes and “blue light specials” at the local big-box store, then it’s likely you’re old enough to remember a time when we did much more of something we hardly ever have to do now: waiting.
Remember sitting in a doctor’s office with nothing to do but twiddle your thumbs or check out a three-year-old magazine? Now you can video chat with your physician from home while you play video games in the background.
So much of our lives is instant now, and that’s a good thing—especially when it comes to the urgency of home damage. If something happens in the night or on a weekend to create an acute need for service, you shouldn’t have to wait. And with SERVPRO’s world-class, 24-hour emergency services, you won’t have to.
Fast service and quick action matter, and here’s why.
After a fire. Fire does much damage in the immediate, that’s plain to see. But soot, the sneaky discharge created when combustion goes uncompleted, works behind the scenes to create even more damage, and it starts only minutes after the fire.
Soot and smoke combine to create stains and smells for which there is a very limited window for repair. Once that window passes, the only recourse is to completely reconstruct affected walls to get rid of them. It’s doable, of course, but having SERVPRO on the scene right away will save you time, money, and smelly clothes.
After water damage. It’s hard to miss the puddled water and dripping after a burst pipe, but it’s easy to overlook the fact that 48 hours after water comes in contact with your surfaces, mold starts growing. Mold growth presents a threat to both your health and, eventually, even the structure of your home. The faster your home can be dried and dehumidified, the better off you’ll be.
If storms or natural disasters happen in the night or on the weekend, you’ve got a sudden, acute need, and you shouldn’t have to wait until 9 a.m. the next business day to get help. When time is of the essence, we’re ready to act.
You shouldn’t have to wait for help, and when you link up with us, you won’t. Trust the team that’s Faster to Any Size Disaster. Trust SERVPRO.
When you need help after a home or business disaster, fast service is a priority, and there’s nobody faster or more prepared than SERVPRO. Call us anytime to take advantage of our 24-hour emergency service.
Are Your Home and Family Safe From a Fire?
Do you know how many smoke alarms you should have?
According to the Institution of Fire Engineers, homes in the United States have a significant lack of smoke alarms. For the safety and protection of your Briarcliff, GA, home, and family, ask yourself these questions and then take any corrective action as necessary for the fire alarm situation in your home:
Do You Know How Many Alarms You Should Have?
Experts recommend having a fire alarm installed in the hall outside bedrooms, inside each bedroom, and on each level of your home. This includes the basement. If you have a two-story home with a basement and three bedrooms, you should have a minimum of six alarms. For the best protection, install an alarm in rooms that have a higher risk of fire, such as the kitchen and garage.
How often should I replace the batteries in smoke alarms?
It's best to change the batteries in your alarms once or twice a year. The easiest way to remember this simple chore is to swap out old and new batteries when you change your clocks or on your birthday or during a summer and winter holiday. This is a quick and easy chore that helps you avoid fire and smoke damage.
How long do smoke alarms last?
Modern fire and smoke detectors have long lifespans but not as long as some homeowners think. Avoid a visit from fire damage cleanup and repair professionals by replacing your alarms every 8 to 10 years. Write the date of replacement on the back of the fire alarm with permanent ink, so you recognize that need for replacement when you change the batteries.
Which type of alarm is best?
There are multiple types of alarms: ionization, photoelectric, and alarms with both sensors. The United States Fire Administration recommends installing both ionization and photoelectric alarms in your home because they detect different types of fires.
You only have about three to four minutes to escape a home fire, even with working alarms. Without the notice provided by your fire alarm, your escape time will be much shorter. Take a few minutes right now to make sure your alarms are in proper working condition.
Recovering Your Personal Possessions From Mold Damage
Always conduct periodic home inspections to avoid mold growth.
Recovering Your Personal Property After Mold Damage
If you’ve found mold creeping on your personal belongings, you may have no choice but to throw them out. Keeping even one mold-infested object can lead to a full-on outbreak that can contaminate other areas of your house. If your belongings are mold-contaminated, consider eliminating them from your Briarcliff, GA, home. However, if these objects have sentimental value, there may be ways to salvage them with mold cleaning.
Ways To Recover Mold-Damaged Belongings
Mold cleaning is something that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, and if your belongings don’t have a smooth surface that can be easily wiped clean, you would be better off trusting a mold remediation specialist. Here are your options for recovering items plagued with mold damage:
• Gently wipe with detergent and water. Smooth surfaces such as plastic and non-engraved metal may respond to a cloth soaped in detergent and water, as long as there are no grooves, designs, or anything else that might capture mold or make the surface porous. If the item does not respond to gentle wiping, leave it alone and either dispose of it or hire a professional. More vigorous scrubbing may release spores into the air.
• Hire a specialist. Mold remediation specialists often have customized devices that can recover clothing, leathers, and paintings in particular – such as an Esporta machine. These specialists are also trained to safely handle mold-damaged items without risking further damaging them with corrosive chemicals or rough handling.
Always Focus on a Mold-Free Home
While it may seem like there are limited options for mold cleaning, one of the best ways to avoid this entirely is to keep a mold-free home. Always conduct periodic home inspections and cleanings to ensure there are no opportunities for mold to take root. You can preserve your belongings by keeping them dry and storing them in a cool, well-lit place where mold is less likely to proliferate.
Water on the Brain: Troubleshooting Your Company’s Irrigation System Water Pressure
Luckily, the steps above may be able to help restore your irrigation needs.
An irrigation system, especially a large one, can come with a fair share of irrigation problems, water pressure being the most common. If you are looking to troubleshoot typical water pressure issues, then look no further than the list below.
1. Check Backflow Device
While it may seem obvious to some, most water pressure issues stem from a valve that is not entirely in the on position. As valves are located above ground and near the exterior of the building, they can be accidentally or purposefully manipulated. The valve handle on the backflow device should be completely parallel with the pipe.
2. Check for Leaks
If the valve on the backflow device is in the fully on position, then check the zone that is ineffectively watering for signs of leaks. Several signs of a leak, aside from low pressure, are water coming up from the soil, divots or depressions, or saturated areas. Once you locate the approximate area of the leak, you can begin digging down to expose the pipe and repair the damage.
3. Check for Choked or Crushed Pipes
If you cannot locate any visible signs of leaking in your irrigation system, then you may have a choked or crushed pipe. A choked or crushed pipe can occur when roots grow around a line, or heavy machinery has compressed the soil. Search for the last fully functional sprinkler head and begin digging along the line because the damage likely occurred between this head and the malfunctioning head.
4. Call for Help
If you are having difficulty locating the damaged area of your system, or if numerous areas around your property are not working correctly, it may be time to call in an expert from the DeKalb, GA, area, as they may be able to resolve the issue a little faster.
A business depends on an irrigation system to maintain an attractive appearance, but low water pressure can be the difference between a green exterior or an arid one. Luckily, the steps above may be able to help restore your irrigation needs.
Steps of the Sewer Damage Cleaning Process
Knowing the process can help you understand the timeline for completing it.
If your commercial building in DeKalb, GA, has sewer damage, the cleaning process is more involved than regular water damage. Because sewage is considered one of the more hazardous types of Category 3 water, extra precautions must be taken to deal with it safely. The following steps outline the sewer cleanup procedure taken by certified restoration technicians.
1. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment
Before entering the space affected by sewer backup, technicians must don their PPE. This includes coveralls that protect skin and face masks and respirators to protect eyes, noses, mouths, and lungs. Waterproof gloves and rubber boots are worn to protect hands and feet.
2. Identifying Source of Problem
Before sewer cleanup can start, the problem must be identified and stopped. For example, a flooded toilet can be unclogged, and a broken pipe can be repaired. Once the source of the sewage has been thwarted, then the cleaning process begins.
3. Containing Items and the Area
Items that are affected by the sewage must be bagged for later assessment. The area must be sealed off from surrounding areas so that secondary damage does not occur.
4. Drying the Area
The standing water with sewage in it must be extracted from the area. Technicians will likely use industrial pumps to remove and contain the water. Then all surfaces must be dried.
5. Disinfecting the Area
Industrial strength cleaners that kill bacteria and harmful microbes are used to completely disinfect the area. Because sewage is such a harsh contaminant, surface testing must be completed to ensure that the cleaners worked.
6. Repairing Structure and Items
Walls, floors, ceilings and items that are destroyed must be thrown away. Everything else must be cleaned and repaired before people can enter the area again. For example, walls that were torn out must be replaced, and items that were dirty must be sanitized. Only then is the restoration complete.
If you need sewer cleanup in your building, there will be more steps than if the damage was from clean water. Knowing the process can help you understand the timeline for completing it.
What Personal Protective Gear Is Used in Mold Remediation?
SERVPRO techs always wear the proper equipment.
Personal Protective Gear
Following a water incident in your Dunwoody, GA home, you must take swift action to resolve the issue. Standing water and moisture can cause more problems than just water damage; mold damage is also a real threat if excess humidity lingers. It's best to hire water damage restoration professionals to manage the cleanup process. Still, whoever does the work needs to wear personal protective equipment, such as face masks. This PPE will help keep the workers safe and prevent cross-contamination into unaffected areas of the home.
1. Hair Covers
A worker should put on a hair cover before work begins, then remove and throw it away before leaving the affected area. Upon reentering the contaminated area, a worker should replace their hair cover with a fresh one.
2. Safety Goggles
Safety goggles for mold remediation should be closed on all sides to prevent mold spores and other debris from getting in the eyes. They'll also keep eyes protected from harsh chemical splashes and fumes.
Respirators, or face masks, are the most essential pieces of PPE for mold damage restoration. By utilizing the proper mask (e.g., N-95), you'll protect yourself from inhaling mold spores and other debris that's stirred up during the remediation process.
Disposable latex gloves are best for use during mold cleanup. Like the other PPE, it's vital to remove them before leaving the affected area, then replace them before resuming work.
Coveralls will help keep your clothes free of mold spores, cleaning chemicals and other contaminants. Ideally, coveralls will cover your arms and legs fully so that nothing can penetrate your shirtsleeves or pantlegs.
6. Shoe Covers
Shoe covers will protect your shoes from causing cross-contamination to unaffected areas. It's essential to remove them before leaving the mold-infested space and replace them with a new pair upon return.
If you discover mold in your home, it's critical to begin the remediation process immediately; mold will spread and can rapidly get out of control. Be sure all workers wear face masks and other PPE to keep everyone safe and the rest of your home clean.
3 Advantages of Using Professional Storm Services
Professionals know the best methods for drying, sanitization and restoration.
3 Advantages of Using Professional Storm Services
Hurricanes, typhoons, heavy gusts, tornadoes, snowstorms, flooding and other weather-related disasters in Brookhaven, GA have the potential to cause severe structural damage and create big messes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, reports that between 1980 and 2020, the U.S. has experienced 285 such incidents where costs hit or exceeded $1 billion. The combined total expense of storm restoration, storm response and repairs for these events is over $1.875 trillion.
Insurance companies provide much of the funds required for fixing flood damage and other harm done to commercial properties. It is advantageous for them to employ the services of a professional storm company for multiple reasons.
1. Faster Response
Situations needing storm restoration generally worsen as time passes. Water damage especially tends to spread, promoting mold growth and rendering certain items irreparable as they become saturated. Drywall, carpeting and other building materials often have to be thrown away in the wake of a deluge but may sometimes be preserved if swift action is taken. A faster response results in numerous benefits, including:
- More possessions can be salvaged
- The advance of damage is slowed or halted
- Cleaning costs are lower
- Restoration costs are lower
2. Quality Service
Professionals are trained to provide quality aid. They are capable of identifying existing issues, assessing the extent of the damage and prioritizing what needs to be done. They know the best methods for drying, sanitization and restoration.
3. Resource Availability
Storm response services also possess the necessary resources to get the task done. There are teams of experienced experts ready to mobilize at any given moment. They also have the tools needed to effectively perform their tasks readily at hand.
Having a storm restoration business on call also speeds up the claims and restoration process. Professional teams can help owners create itemized lists of needed replacements and repairs and evaluate and record damage. They also mitigate the impact of disasters.
3 Reasons Why Desert Climates Are Susceptible To Mold Growth
Here Are Three Reasons Why Desert Climates Are Susceptible To Mold Growth
The accumulation of black mold is a strenuous occurrence for any building owner in Dunwoody, GA. However, it can also be a confusing one. Those who work in desert climates don't tend to expect mold issues. After all, the substance thrives on dampness and water. These aren't things the desert has in spades. Unfortunately, it's certainly possible that desert-based buildings may need mold removal.
The mindset that desert climates don't experience black mold is often what causes this issue. Proper maintenance in said area may be neglected, which results in problematic water buildups. These are structural issues that desert building owners don't often look for:
- Air-conditioning condensation problems
- Building holes
- Leaking water
- Weather stripping failures
Forgetting about the possibility of these maintenance issues can cause substantial mold growth. This is why fixing said problems should be a priority after the fungus is detected.
Deserts aren't exactly the most humid areas, so it may seem odd that the climate would encourage mold growth. However, the heat can become a potent creator of the substance. Water isn't nonexistent in the desert. At some point it will rain or structural leaks will occur. If the resulting water isn't properly removed, the intense desert heat may trigger the swift and substantial creation of said fungus. This can make the mold cleanup process worse than normal due to excess growth.
A desert climate may not experience bountiful rain, but it does tend to have intense wind. This wind can cause damage to the structure of your building. If the damage results in holes or broken pipes, you could need mold remediation experts shortly. In fact, it's highly possible that any holes would be too small to catch easily but large enough to accumulate water.
Expecting the unexpected is an important doctrine, even when the unexpected seems outlandish. Any building owner should prepare for black mold, even one in the desert.
Is Mold Damage Covered by my Insurance?
Mold removal in Brookhaven, GA.
One thing that many homeowners don't understand about their insurance coverage is that an essential part of having that insurance is preventing risk, such as damage from fungus growth. When you sign up for an insurance policy, you are entering into an agreement that you will properly maintain your home and property, and the insurance company will protect you from financial loss.
Questions That Affect Coverage
When you find fungus growth in your home and wonder whether professional cleanup and removal is covered by your insurance company, you'll need to answer some important questions:
- What caused the mold growth?
- Could the damage have been prevented?
- Did you neglect maintenance issues that led to fungus, mold, or mildew?
If the insurance provider finds that mold occurred because of steps you should have taken but didn't, the damage probably won't be covered.
Examples of Non-Covered Situations
Here are some examples of situations that your insurance policy probably won't cover:
- A pipe burst in the basement that wasn't probably handled
- An aging roof that allows water into the attic and structure of your home
- Visible signs of mold that you don't do anything about
- Residential flooding that isn't specifically covered by your insurance
Some policies do cover mold claims, but you need to be sure that there's specific language about it in your policy.
Covered Perils and Further Responsibility
You may receive mold coverage if the source of trouble falls under the "covered peril" window. Mold insurance coverage is generally available after fires, lightning strikes, vandalism, the weight of snow or ice, and accidental discharge of plumbing, sprinkler systems, and household appliances, for example. When a "sudden and accidental" incident takes place, you need to contact your insurance provider quickly because a delay in taking action could prevent coverage.
The best way to be sure that your insurance covers damage due to mold or fungus growth is to read your policy and speak to your agent. You should also understand the limits to the mold coverage. Your provider may also give you advice about how to avoid risks associated with mold in your Brookhaven, GA home.
Top 5 Hidden Places to Find Mold
Any food spills that go uncleaned just serve to invite mold
Mold Can Appear Anywhere Excessive Moisture Is Present
Mold is a pesky home invader that can appear almost anywhere in your home. In order to perform a thorough home inspection, you need to make sure you're checking every possible hiding place for mold growth, not just the primary locations. Consider adding the following hidden spots to your next mold inspection in order to protect your home in Gainsborough, GA.
1. House Plants
Overwatered house plants provide ample moisture and organic nutrients for mold to thrive. Prevent unwanted mold by only watering your plants at the base (not from the top) and proportioning out an appropriate amount of water.
2. Window Sills
It's likely to find mold on wood, such as your wooden window sills. This is especially likely after large amounts of rain, or if your indoor humidity levels are too high. Check for excessive condensation on your window panes that can lead to unwanted mold.
3. Walls and Wallpaper
Moldy drywall can be harder to spot, so you need to make sure you're keeping an eye out for other types of signs. Peeling, browning, or otherwise aging wallpaper is a good indication that mold is growing underneath the wallpaper. Also, check for a musty odor.
4. Refrigerator and its Contents
Any food spills that go uncleaned just serve to invite mold. You also need to make sure you regularly clear out any food items that have gone bad or are otherwise spoiled.
5. Washing Machine
It's easy to forget to check the washing machine, as many homeowners naturally assume that it's self-cleaning. Neglecting to completely dry the moisture from the drum can lead to mold growth. Prevent this by airing out the drum after each cycle and regularly running a high heat wash cycle with white vinegar.
As a general rule of thumb, mold can appear anywhere excessive moisture is present. It's important that you check every hidden corner of your home. If you do discover mold growth in your home, you need to contact mold remediation experts immediately.
When and How to Sue Your Landlord Over Black Mold
When and How to Sue Your Landlord Over Black Mold
If your office in Dekalb, GA, becomes infested with black mold, the fungus needs to be removed. Mold cleanup is costly, particularly if it infests your pipes or necessitates wall replacements. In such instances, it may make sense to recoup damages by suing your landlord.
Deciding whether to pursue a small claims lawsuit first involves tallying losses. Liabilities associated with mold cleanup include the following:
- Lost income resulting from temporarily shutting down.
- Cost of rehabilitating property that must be repaired.
- Value of replacing ruined equipment. Renters’ insurance sometimes covers this but might exclude mold.
- The incalculable emotional burden endured by you and your staff.
Call your landlord to discuss the matter. Should that fail, mail a demand letter. Make certain the document is delivered by return receipt so you can prove your good-faith effort to resolve the conflict. Only after your landlord does not respond may you begin taking remedial action.
Qualifying Litigation and Evidence Collection
Different jurisdictions place varying limits on small claims, generally ranging between $3,000 and $10,000. Contact an attorney who specializes in suing over black mold if you believe your expenses fall within the qualifying range. Note that not all states allow attorneys to accompany litigants during small claims.
Once you and your lawyer have determined your case’s viability, prepare the evidence. A high-quality test kit, available over the counter, can provide documentation that mold exists. Take multi-angle pictures of all affected areas and catalog every receipt generated while dealing with the fallout. A professional mold remediation company can conveniently give you a detailed accounting of necessary repairs. You will also want infrastructure such as plumbing and venting inspected to check that no health code violations have been triggered. Keep all information in a clasped folder to prevent materials from getting lost. Now, simply present your case in court for a judge to decide.
Black mold clean up is always expensive. If you determine your landlord has caused your situation, do your due diligence by collecting evidence and hiring a qualified attorney who can assist in getting what you deserve.
3 Tips for Avoiding Mold Growth in the Bathroom
Air vents and bath fans move moisture from the bathroom and send it outside
When it comes to preventing water damage, the bathroom presents some of the most difficult challenges. This room seems to have less airflow, more moisture, and more ways for water to seep where it isn't wanted than other rooms. In spite of the challenges, it is possible to control water and limit mold growth in your Dunwoody, GA, home.
Install Air Vents and Bath Fans
No matter where you live, whether in a home or apartment, in a humid environment or dry climate, a high level of humidity in the bathroom will make it nearly impossible to prevent mold. Consistent cleaning is very important, but to make sure that mold doesn't grow, you need a way to keep the room dry. Air vents and bath fans move moisture from the bathroom and send it outside. Run the fans during showers and baths. Let them continue running for about half an hour afterward. It's also important to make sure the fan has the right cubic feet per minute (CFM) volume for the size of the room.
Fix Leaks Immediately
Whether you notice drips building up on the pipes in the cabinet or water seeping from the faucet, you need to immediately address the problem. Eventually, leaks cause water damage and when leaky pipes aren't repaired right away, the resulting damage becomes much harder to deal with and more expensive.
Clean Out the Shower
Many people leave shampoo, conditioners, sponges, and other bathing items on shower shelves or floors. As these items dry, water often pools beneath them. This creates a welcoming environment for mold spores. It's better to remove those items, dry them off, and store them outside of the shower. Make sure you regularly wash your towels, washcloths, and rugs; most experts recommend washing them at least once a week.
Of course, mold prevention is better than cleaning up water damage and mold growth. If mold grows in spite of your efforts, reach out to water and mold damage cleanup and repair professionals. In addition to cleaning up, they can provide you with recommendations for further prevention methods.
5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention at Your Business
Knowing what weather to expect in your area can help you prepare ahead of a storm
5 Tips for Water Damage Prevention at Your Business
Did you know that the same professionals who restore water damage from water in home incidents can also help protect your Perimeter Center, GA, business? Your local SERVPRO team are proud of the fact that they can be Faster to Any Size Disaster for any water damage needs. They can even help your company mitigate possible damage by using the following five tips.
1. Stay Aware of The Weather
Knowing what weather to expect in your area can help you prepare ahead of a storm. This knowledge will help you take the time you need to cover over vulnerable spaces on the property, or set up water barriers.
2. Regularly Inspect the Property
Inspecting the property regularly may allow you to catch potential problems before damage is caused. For example, you may be able to spot weakened plumbing before there’s a broken pipe which requires a pipe cleanup.
3. Contact a Professional for Assessment
Just like if you have water in home areas, you can contact a professional with assistance with any flooding in your business. They can assess the property for possible damage prone areas, and help recommend mitigation tips to protect the space.
4. Make Any Repairs Quickly
The quicker repairs are made the less likely the property is to face additional damages. This is why it’s important to address any damage to the building even it is not directly water-related.
5. Use Water Barriers if Needed
If you’re ever facing any heavy storm weather, you may want to consider using water barriers, to protect the company property. These can be set up to direct water away from doors or other vulnerable spaces.
Whether you want to prevent water in home or business areas, your SERVPRO team can help you mitigate possible damage. Stay aware of the weather, regularly inspect the property, and contact a professional for help if you believe there may be an issue. This way repairs can be made as quickly as possible. It’s also a good idea to use water barriers if you think there may be a need.
We are Cleaning Experts
We can handle commercial and residential jobs
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of NW DeKalb/Dunwoody/Brookhaven, (770) 396-3883